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After Times Square attack, calls for more sidewalk barriers

20 May 2017

The speeding auto jumped the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue at 42nd Street and struck several pedestrians before crashing at the northwest corner of 45th Street, police said. The auto then caught fire.

Rojas waited on Seventh Avenue at 42nd Street for traffic to pass, then made a right turn onto the sidewalk, striking 18-year-old MI tourist Alyssa Elsman between 42nd and 43rd streets, and continuing on to hit others, Aubry said.

Last year, city officials installed 200 custom-made bollards in the Times Square area, enlisting the California-based Calpipe Security Bollards to manufacture and help design special 8 ½-inch diameter (22 centimeter) hunks of metal that are embedded in the ground and spaced about 4 feet (1 meter) apart, said Rob Reiter, the company's security consultant. He has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2008 and again in 2015. "I wanted to kill them", NY newspapers reported.He also said that he "hears voices".

Mayor Bill de Blasio and O'Neill reassured the public that the incident was not terror-related. She was being treated for a collapsed lung and broken pelvis, officials said.

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He expressed sympathy for those injured and especially for the woman who was killed and her family.

The crash killed Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old tourist from MI, officials said. Her 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

"We're going to make decisions case-by-case, but we take this very seriously", the mayor said.

The 2009 Honda Accord sedan went up on a sidewalk on 7th Ave between 42nd and 43rd street - hitting multiple pedestrians.

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She watched the auto slam into a steel divider and catch fire, she said. Photos showed the auto caught fire and was totaled.

"People were being hit and rolling off the auto", said Josh Duboff, an employee at the adjacent Thomson Reuters headquarters who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck. But he was grabbed quickly by bystanders, including a parole officer, who detained him until police arrived. Police heavily patrol the area. Streets were blocked off and some businesses were put on lockdown.

"Rojas is just mowing people down", he said. Their quick responses might have minimized the casualties, he said.

De Blasio, a progressive Democrat seeking re-election this year, said authorities would assess whether they needed to step up security to stop similar incidents from happening in the future.Police patrols in Times Square, one of the world's busiest districts, were already beefed up in recent years, following a 2010 auto bombing attempt.

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Commissioner Daniel Nigro of the New York Fire Department said all of the injured were transported to local hospitals for treatment.